Shippers hold emergency meeting over sea freight capacity crisis

European shippers held an emergency meeting last week over the current ocean freight capacity crisis in which delays of up to eight weeks for eastbound cargo from Europe to Asia are costing exporters existing and future sales.

The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) said it was asked by representatives of national shippers’ councils, as well as by individual export companies, to organize an emergency meeting, adding: “This meeting took place last week and focused on the current situation in the maritime sector: goods to be exported have been waiting for up to eight weeks to be loaded on ships. The present capacity is insufficient to take all shipments.”

ESC said carriers were also providing no guarantee that all of the goods within a shipment would be loaded, noting: “Frequently some goods from a shipment remain in the port. At the same time spot market freight tariffs are increasing.”

Lloyd’s Loading List has reported several times since early March that European exporters have been experiencing problems securing eastbound ocean freight capacity, disrupting their supply chains. European shippers who export goods to Asia have reported a large drop of available slots for containers on almost every shipping line.